My Bloody Valentine
November 3rd, 2013
Aragon Ballroom, Chicago, IL
Walking through the doors of Aragon Ballroom for Sunday’s My Bloody Valentine show, I knew I was in for a one-of-a-kind show. That’s because for the first time ever, I was actually handed earplugs by the staff at the door and was asked twice by security double-checking that I got my set of earplugs. The reason for this is My Bloody Valentine’s notoriously deafening shows, with the Irish shoegaze band building a sound so large it’s jarring every time it kicks in. The band released its third album earlier this year and its first in 22 years (a smash success by our estimation), and the band delivered cuts off all three albums with equal levels of success.
St. Louis, MO
October 22, 2013
It had been far too long since I had seen a legitimate show, so I was more than a little excited to see Baths at one of my favorite St. Louis venues. In general, The Firebird usually is kind of like seeing a show in your parents’ basement. The ceilings are low, the lights are lower, and there are a couple of stray pinball machines. This glorious basement effect was only heightened for the Baths show because only about 100 people showed up. I usually prefer a more crowded atmosphere, but each and every person attending was fully invested in what Baths had to offer, which added to the intensity of the Baths experience Will Wiesenfeld brings to the stage.
Atoms For Peace
October 2, 2013
Last Wednesday, I had the privilege of witnessing a live Atoms For Peace performance for the second time in my life. The first time I had the pleasure of seeing this rare supergroup perform was at Coachella in 2010. Fellow LxL’er Wes and I were lucky enough to land spots right next to Jay and B (seriously) near the sound stage and were gifted a performance of a lifetime. One that I thought I would never have the opportunity to see again. Luckily, that would not be the case, and after haggling my way into a cheap general admission floor seat, I was gifted that opportunity once again.
Auditorium Theatre, Chicago, IL
September 30th, 2013
There are plenty of acts that are great live, but only a few that are transcendent. Sigur Rós is one of the few bands that fit in the latter, being one of the only bands I have seen several people come away from their show crying tears of joy and calling it a religious experience. And for what it’s worth, that’s not that outrageous: the Icelandic post-rock band are arguably the most one-of-a-kind band of this generation; that, and their live act will leave you believing in the art of live music once more. This was my fourth go at Sigur Rós (fifth of you include their frontman Jonsi solo), and the show was very different from what I have seen from the band before, but no less life-altering.
Who: Pearl Jam
Where: Wrigley Field, Chicago IL
When: July 19th (and 20th), 2013
It was a Friday evening, and despite not having tickets to the grossly over-priced (in terms of resale, anyways) Pearl Jam concert, I was still making my way over to Wrigley Field to meet up with some friends in an attempt to score a deal, when I noticed on my Yahoo weather app that Chicago could be in for some nasty storms that night. I didn’t really think anything of it, other than it could only better our chances at getting a cheaper ticket. Having seen Pearl Jam twice live previously, and the fact that it was 2013 and not 1998, I wasn’t exactly thrilled to pay the ticket broker the requested amount of $400 minimum for a ticket. Nonetheless, my brother and friends were already in the show, and a lifelong friend/total Pearl Jam junkie Jason was in town for Pitchfork Festival. So, why not see if the stars aligned and a ticket just happened to fall in our laps, right? Luckily, that is exactly what happened.